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"I absolutely have to have that"

The special something
 art in strategy® (ais) 

Innovation in brand and product development at companies often arises in a single line and with a focus solely on scientific research and the use of new technologies. Sovereign innovation, however, needs much more, because it depends on the interaction of different factors. The basis for innovation is distributed among science, manufacturers and users, i.e. society, and must therefore be designed in such a way that, in addition to maintaining and further developing economic success and competitiveness, it also contributes to meeting societal needs.


There is a need for a holistic approach in the development of innovation that takes into account cultural contexts in addition to the latest technologies and engineering aspects. This approach incorporates socio-scientific factors and value systems and creates cross-disciplinary collaborations with both engineering and cultural and educational institutions.


A holistic approach means the flexible staffing of interfaces, which classic (in-house) innovation agencies often do not fulfill. Although these work with, among other things, design thinking methods, in which people from all areas are involved in the development of innovation and also test the ideas developed in the context of user surveys, they usually focus on one or more new core technologies and remain in the topics once they have been defined. In this way, innovation arises primarily in the context of technology, the concrete benefits of the current application, and in systems defined from the outset, with a focus on singular measures and institutions.


Innovation in marketing and in the image positioning of companies also often occurs without a holistic approach, so that only stimulus overloads of the same content always arise, but an actual disruption in perception is missing. It must therefore be about an integration of socially relevant content that goes beyond the promotion of pure products.


Understanding innovation in all economic areas as a social process is the key to an innovation sovereignty that is able to initiate innovation discourses and develop far-reaching visions that, in combination with multiple and flexible implementation strategies, track, optimize and adapt innovations over longer periods of time.


This is where ais steps in.

At the interface of art and business, ais develops and realizes innovation-relevant content in the dimension of technological, scientific, social, political and philosophical aspects through holistic projects. Like a wide-angle lens, ais opens up space to initiate joined-up thinking in the field of innovation and to open doors to new ideas in which even areas and expertise that at first glance seem contradictory come together - thus contributing in many ways to entrepreneurial value creation: ais creates a holistic innovation system that not only formulates the requirements for new technological developments, but also creates the basis for implementing them on the market. By linking art individually and strategically to economic processes, ais creates a very different way of innovating: Artists sense current trends and social needs like seismographs, by looking under stones where experts would not even look, because they believe to know that nothing extraordinary will be found. In addition to technological and exciting philosophical questions, ais initiates cross-disciplinary collaborations and interdepartmental coordination that sees innovation as a social process and communicates it in a completely new way.


ais offers a unique approach to innovation development in different areas (marketing, image, product development) and at the same time revolutionizes classical art sponsoring, in which a collaboration with artists generates individual corporate content. The approach of ais moves in a thinking together of partly also contrary starting points, an approach, which comes straight from artist:inside with the creation of art usually to the effect. In the projects authentic and individual contents are created, which initiate processes of thinking together in the field of innovation on different levels: in the field of marketing, image and innovative product development. This content is tailored in such a way that it can be used in marketing and lead to exceptional corporate communication and image enhancement, and in further thinking can also lead to completely new, innovative products. Thus ais contributes to an innovation sovereignty in the area of the development of new products, to achieve a penetrating effect in the perception, which impress themselves lastingly in the memory of the viewers and only thereby an actually strengthened need for them arises.

ais has the necessary independent and flexible working structure and is in contact with artistic personalities who would normally not be available for such a symbiosis of business and art.


As an innovation lab, ais is a reliable, flexible, efficient and competent partner with a very rich network of interdisciplinary teams of design strategists, artists, curators and experts, working across disciplines and assembled as needed, bringing together fields and expertise that at first glance seem contradictory. Between analog and digital, human and technology, art and strategy, we empathize: We identify general needs, analyze challenges and opportunities, define stakeholders and explore the field of work, collect ideas, develop a vision and make this vision a reality. Potential clients are companies, organization and institutions: Corporations, SMEs, startups as well as museums, galleries, collectors, foundations, universities, research institutes - we enter into strategic symbioses and combine elements that at first glance seem contrary to a new synthesis.


ais sees itself as a "transformation enabler", a kind of innovation agency - as a catalyst for a game-changer innovation strategy that combines individually far-reaching visions with specific implementation strategies. In creating this completely different approach, we believe we have established an authentically holistic approach to innovation that is unique in the market. Based on this approach, which ais translates for the realization of each individual project individually and adequately for a company and its product and marketing strategy, the overall image of the company can be strengthened and or, if desired, a completely different overall image of a company can be created. This overall image develops a high penetrating power: It plays with the unexpected and allows authentic artistic freedom. Art is used here as a mirror of society, which on the one hand leads to a differentiated and thus completely different perception of the company by its target groups and on the other hand, in the process of further penetration of this approach, new types of products can be created; and these new types of products not only feed their target groups with a short-lived "aha" experience, but also make them raise their eyebrows right away and thus immediately awaken a real, tangible need according to the motto: "I absolutely have to have that".

Authors: Katharina Arimont und Jens Joneleit

January 16th, 2022

Source used in the field of innovation sovereignty. 

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